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Syllabus 2015-16 - 76313011 - Race and Gender in Contemporary American and Canadian Literature (Race and gender in contemporary american and canadian literature)

  • Level 1: Tutorial support sessions, materials and exams in this language
  • Level 2: Tutorial support sessions, materials, exams and seminars in this language
  • Level 3: Tutorial support sessions, materials, exams, seminars and regular lectures in this language
DEGREE: Máster Univ. en Online en English Studies (OMIES) / Estudios ingleses
FACULTY: Centro de Estudios de Postgrado
COURSE: Race and Gender in Contemporary American and Canadian Literature
NAME: Race and Gender in Contemporary American and Canadian Literature
CODE: 76313011 ACADEMIC YEAR: 2015-16
OFFICE NO.: D2 - 228 E-MAIL: psanchez@ujaen.es P: 953211827
ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-4566-5300

  1. Sex and Gender: Definitions
  2. A General Perspective on the Concepts of Race and Ethnicity: From the Exotic Other to the Multicultural Society
  3. An Analysis of Race and Ethnicity in a Selection of Works by Toni Morrison and Gloria Anzaldúa
  4. Female Representations in Margaret Atwood's Novels and Alice Munro's Short Stories


The activities designed for this course are the following:

- Carefully reading of the information provided in this Guide to find out which readings are compulsory and what supplemental material is available. The aim of this learning activity is to help students organize their studies effectively from the start of the course so that they can take full advantage of their time and, consequently, obtain the best possible results.

- Close reading of material. The goal is for students to get familiar with the material they have to study and to obtain information that will help with the easy development of the course.

- Thorough comprehension of the compulsory material for each unit as well as the different critical perspectives of the texts covered in each topic. Close reading of the texts selected is a core part of the course and will help show students that what is most important is not memorizing the concepts but reflecting on ideas and applying them to the narrative texts.

- Interaction with the course instructor. To ensure a positive and successful experience, students can contact the course instructor on line by using the forums. The course instructor will help them resolve any course-related queries which may require a more in-depth explanation suited to their specific needs.

- Participation in debates and discussions in online forums. The goal here is to encourage students to study and exchange ideas and, in general, to provide a place for students to interact with their peers and teachers. The online forums serve as an open platform where students can freely share their opinions about, interpretations of and information on the literary texts they are studying.

- Writing of Paper. Students will have to submit an academic essay at the end of the course of 4,000 and 6,000 words in length (including footnotes and bibliography) on one aspect of their interest related to the contents of the course.

            The essay should follow the standard structure: thesis, argument and conclusion. After choosing your central idea or thesis, state it in the first few paragraphs. Then outline your essay into several body sections to develop and support your argument. Finish with a conclusion paragraph summarizing the idea chosen as thesis and the evidence used.

It is advised that footnotes be reduced to a minimum and not be used to add bibliographical references to the corpus of the text. The bibliography must be rigorously selected. Students must follow the MLA style guidelines to write the essay.

            Advices to write your paper:

  1. Start thinking of a possible topic from the beginning of the course. Leaving your decision till the end will not help thinking and will cause stress.
  2. Once the topic is chosen formulate a set of questions.
  3. Read purposefully: select the readings according to the questions you have posed. The most productive sources of information are often subject specific journals. The library at UNED has an extensive collection of them.
  4. Jot down quotations and ideas as you come across them so that you do not forget.
  5. Do not plagiarize. When you copy material from sources without acknowledging these sources you are stealing other people's work. This practice is unacceptable and will make you fail the course.


Students with special educational needs should contact the Student Attention Service (Servicio de Atención y Ayudas al Estudiante) in order to receive the appropriate academic support


Assessment of the course will be based on the participation in the online forums (20% of the final mark), on the answers to the questions posed by the teachers (10% of the final mark), and on the writing of a paper (70% of the final mark).

- Assessment of the participation in online forums will be based on the following marking criteria:

Students are expected to access the course's online platform to consult material, make queries, interact with peers and the instructor, keep abreast with the course requirements and receive the latest course-related news.

- Assessment of the answers to the questions posed by the teachers will be based on students' correct explanation of some of the key concepts of the course as well as on their understanding of relevant passages, topics and literary features present in the compulsory reading assignments.       

- Assessment of the paper will be based on the following marking criteria:

  1. Students are expected to produce a paper whose content is correct, precise, clearly exposed and well structured. They will also be required to show a high command of English grammar and written academic discourse.
  2. The paper must be original and innovative.
  3. The paper must develop a point of view on the issue effectively and insightfully.
  4. The paper must demonstrate critical thinking and solid knowledge of the concepts used.
  5. The paper must be well organized and clearly focused, demonstrating clear coherence and smooth progression of ideas. Of special importance is that students do not deviate from the topic they have selected and restrict themselves to one issue. Irrelevance and distraction from the main line of interest will be penalized.
  6. The paper must be free of errors. Students must show good knowledge of English. They must demonstrate their proficiency in English grammar, usage and mechanics

  • Borderlands = La frontera . Edition: -. Author: Gloria. Publisher: San Francisco : Aunt Lute Books, 1999.  (Library)
  • Surfacing. Edition: Repr. Author: Atwood, Margaret. Publisher: London: Virago, 1997  (Library)
  • The Oxford companion to Canadian literature [Recurso electrónico]. Edition: 2nd ed. Author: -. Publisher: Toronto ; New York : Oxford University Press, 1997  (Library)
  • The new Oxford book of Canadian short stories in English. Edition: -. Author: -. Publisher: Toronto...[etc.] : Oxford University Press, 1997  (Library)
  • The Columbia dictionary of modern literary and cultural criticism [Recurso electrónico]. Edition: -. Author: -. Publisher: Cambridge [eng.] : ProQuest LLC, 2000.
  • The Oxford dictionary of literary terms [Recurso electrónico]. Edition: 3rd ed. Author: Baldick, Chris. Publisher: Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, 2008  (Library)
  • God Help the Child. Edition: -. Author: Morrison, Toni. Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf  (Library)
  • Culture and equality: an egalitarian critique of multiculturalism. Edition: -. Author: Barry, Brian. Publisher: Cambridge: Polity, 2003  (Library)
  • 'Race', writing, and difference. Edition: -. Author: -. Publisher: Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1986  (Library)
  • A Genealogy of Literary Multiculturalism. Edition: -. Author: Douglas, Christopher. Publisher: Cornell University Press  (Library)
  • Race, Trauma and Home in the Novels of Toni Morrison. Edition: -. Author: Evelyn Jaffe Schreiber. Publisher: Louisiana State University Press  (Library)
  • Haciendo Teoría." Other Sisterhoods. Literary Theory and U.S. Women of Colo. Edition: -. Author: Sandra Kumamoto Stanley, ed.. Publisher: University of Illinois Press  (Library)
  • Waltzing again : new and selected conversations with Margaret Atwood . Edition: -. Author: Atwood, Margaret. Publisher: Princeton, NJ : Ontario Review Press, 2006  (Library)
  • The Cambridge companion to Margaret Atwood. Edition: -. Author: -. Publisher: Cambridge, UK ; New York : Cambridge University Press, 2006.  (Library)
  • Margaret atwood : essays on her works. Edition: 1st ed. Author: -. Publisher: Toronto [etc] : Guernica, 2008  (Library)
  • Reading, learning, teaching Margaret Atwood . Edition: -. Author: Thomas, Paul Lee. Publisher: New York : Peter Lang, cop. 2007  (Library)
  • Dance of the sexes: art and gender in the fiction of Alice Munro. Edition: -. Author: Rasporich, Beverly J.. Publisher: Alberta: University of Alberta Press, cop. 1990  (Library)